Reinvent Your Home: Additions & Remodeling
While home additions share much of the same considerations as homeremodeling
Homeowners may dream of building a custom home, but there are many ways to customize the home you are currently living in, too. Home remodeling is hot, with bathroom, kitchen and basement remodeling leading the way, but why not also consider expanding your living space with an addition? This year's most popular home additions include bathrooms, sunrooms and garages.
While home additions share much of the same considerations as homeremodeling such as good design, detailed planning and carefulbudgeting there are other issues specific to additions that homeownersshould consider carefully:
Do you want to build up or out?
First-story and second-story additions each offer their own pros and cons. Carefullyreview which will work best for your lifestyle and home layout.
Do you want to complement your home's exterior or change it?
Most architects will suggest continuity, however, an addition, especially asecond-story one, provides the perfect opportunity to update yourhome's exterior.
Do you need to upgrade your heating and cooling?
Do your designs meet the local zoning codes?
Consult the local zoning codes early in the process. Failure to do so could result in fines or, worse, a
In recent years a three-bathroom house has become quite common,however, many older homes were built with only one or two. For creatinga better lifestyle as well as increasing the value of a home, adding abathroom has perhaps become the most popular home addition in recentyears.
Or, you can consider adding on to an already existing bathroom to enlarge it.
Master bathroom: Design a relaxing master suite complete with bath, shower and dressing area.
Guest bathroom: Adding a separate guest bathroom can turn your guest room into a guest suite, create comfort and privacy.
Shared bathroom: Make sure you get the most out of anadditional bathroom by letting it do double duty. Consider a bathroomwhich adjoins two bedrooms or a bathroom with both a bedroom and hall entrance.
A sunroom lets sunlight and air into your home without losing the comfort of the great indoors.
When planning, decide first how you are going to use the room. If youwant to extend your living room or kitchen, for example, you'll havedifferent construction requirements than if you want to install a hottub or create a solarium for your plants.
Sunroom Options: Skylights: A popular option because they bring additional sunlight into the room. Windows:Operable windows offer an easy way to ventilate your sunroom. And, ifultraviolet fading may be a problem, for instance, consider asolar-bronze or gray-tint to block unwanted heat and UV rays. Hot tubs: A sunroom offers the perfect indoor setting to enjoy a hot tub year-round.
Dormer or Second-Story Additions
Building a second-story addition has many benefits that a first-storyaddition does not offer including maintaining your home's originalfootprint, which saves on yard space as well as keeping yourlandscaping intact. Other benefits include new roofing and reduced heating costs due to the insulation the second story will provide.
Before you decide on expanding to a second story, however, you shouldconsult with a building contractor or structural engineer. Some homes,especially older homes, may need extra structural support at thefoundation and walls before they are able to accept a second-story addition. It may also be necessary to upgrade your electrical system.
Master suite: A popular upgrade in older homes is to build an entire master suite on the second story.
Studio: The opportunity to add many windows in asecond-story addition prompts many people to utilize this space as anart studio or workshop.
Loft: A loft keeps this second-story space open andspacious, providing the perfect environment for a recreation room, anoffice or a children's playroom.
Whether you use this to shelter your car, for storage space, or want to finish it to make it livable space or all three a garage addition isgreat way to add square footage to your home. Even if you already havea garage, adding a second story can be the perfect answer to carvingout additional living space.
Many people find that a garage offers the perfect environment to housetheir home office, studio space, or workshop. Most garages can beeasily fitted with the same comforts as a home: heating and cooling, phone wiring, even plumbing.
Mother-in-law apartment: An above-the-garage additionprovides the perfect space for an individual and private living spacefor a visitor or live-in parent.
Home office: The biggest problem with a home office isusually the distractions of homelife. But, the distance a garage homeoffice provides keeps these distractions to a minimum.
Music studio: This is where many "garage bands" got their start. Consider soundproofing the garage to avoid neighbors' complaints.